OREGON STATE WAS supposed to have trouble with the Boise State rush. The Beavs weren't supposed to…
BOWL NOTEBOOK: Will Beavs run in Hawaii?
"You got to be able to crease them a little bit on some of that stuff," Langsdorf said Sunday. "I think that when you are able to do that and hit some of those runs it's a big deal, because it opens up a lot more of your playbook.
"When you're (playing) a real over-aggressive defense, and you can crease a few runs, yes, it's really good, and it slows them down a little bit too."
Langsdorf also acknowledged that a stout running attack can add balance. And that's something that, ideally, could help the Beavs hold momentum for a significant portion of the Hawaii Bowl. As evidence, Langsdorf pointed to the Civil War game.
"I think we had good success in the Oregon game that way. (Oregon) had an aggressive defense, and we hit some good runs on them," Langsdorf said. "It put them on their heels a little bit more and opened up some more stuff for us."
The look and feel of the Beaver offense against Oregon, Mike Riley said after the game, was what he wants the program to look like in the future. Well, the future is now. So, without giving anything away, what does that mean when it comes down to X's and O's for the Hawaii Bowl?
"Whether it's a formation change, or a specific play – it kind of goes with the game plan – but the basic overall philosophy (is that) we are trying to run a little bit more," Langsdorf said. "Run some of those sweeps and have some action-pass off of it. We want to be balanced. A big part of it is being back to where we've had the most success (and) being able to be a little bit more multiple that way."
Multiple is the operative word there -- particularly when it comes to an OSU backfield utilizing two feature backs in Storm Woods and junior Terron Ward. Each has unique skill sets, and both styles fit into the scheme of what OSU wants to put on the field come Christmas Eve.
Obviously, Langsdorf wants to get the most out of both players, which is much easier said than done.
"You want to put the guys in the best position to take advantage of what they do well. We play both of them, and we can put them in at different times for what they do best," Langsdorf said. "It's great to be multiple that way, and have two different guys to do two different things against an aggressive defense."
Woods can be a big contributor in the short passing game, while Ward has displayed bursts of energy and downhill running that is he can pop a few early, can help neutralize a speedy and aggressive BSU front seven.
In order for a ground threat to be effective against the Broncos though, Oregon State will need to block consistently. And Oregon State's front five have been porous at times. From this chair, they can benefit mightily from another position group in order to disrupt the penetration that BSU defensive ends Demarcus Lawrence and Beau Martin, or linebacker Ben Weaver will try to establish earlier and often.
Put simply, the blocking of OSU's tight ends (and fullback Tyler Anderson) could be integral to the Beavs earning the "W" in Honolulu.
"That's a really big deal in the run game, it's obviously necessary in pass protection," Langsdorf said. "But definitely in the run – and being able to run to the perimeter – a big part of it is having those tight ends be able to block."
The play of the tight end corps will be especially important in hemming up Lawrence, who has been one of the premier defenders in the Mountain West.
"Being able to kind of neutralize his pass rush - with tailback help, with tight end help - those are big factors in slowing him down. Putting him one-on-one all the time with a tackle is not very good," Langsdorf said.
Langsdorf said that in order to stymie Boise State's pursuit, fans can expect to see a few more of the ‘big' sets on offense that the Beavs started implementing toward the latter half of the season.
That said, a multi-faceted, time-consuming diet of Woods and Ward, along with a controlled pass game, might just be what OSU needs to earn a victory over a Boise State team that figures to pull no punches come game day.
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